The Bible was everywhere in Shakespeare's England. Through sermons, catechisms, treatises, artwork, literature and, of course, biblical reading itself, the stories and language of the Bible pervaded popular and elite culture. In recent years, scholars have demonstrated how thoroughly biblical allusions saturate Shakespearean plays. But Shakespeare's audiences were not simply well versed in the Bible's content - they were also steeped in the practices and methods of biblical interpretation. Reformation and counter-reformation debate focused not just on the biblical text, but - crucially - on how to read the text. The Bible on the Shakespearean Stage is the first volume to integrate the study of Shakespeare's plays with the vital history of Reformation practices of biblical interpretation. Bringing together the foremost international scholars in the field of 'Shakespeare and the Bible', these essays explore Shakespeare's engagement with scriptural interpretation in the tragedies, histories, comedies, and romances.
Table of Contents
Introduction: 'popular hermeneutics in Shakespeare's London' Thomas Fulton and Kristen Poole; Part I. Europe, England: Contextualising Shakespeare's Bible: 1. The Bible in transition in the age of Shakespeare: a European perspective Bruce Gordon; 2. The trouble with translation: paratexts and England's bestselling New Testament Aaron T. Pratt; Part II. Stagings: Reformation Reading Practices in the Theater: 3. John 6, Measure for Measure, and the complexities of the literal sense Jay Zysk; 4. Words of diverse significations: Hamlet's puns, amphibology, and allegorical hermeneutics Kristen Poole; 5. England's Jerusalem in Shakespeare's Henriad Beatrice Groves; 6. Discontented harmonies: words against words in Pomfret Castle Tom Bishop; Part III. Interplay: Biblican Forms and Other Genres: 7. Titus Andronicus and the rhetoric of lamentation Adrian Streete; 8. The acts of Pericles: Shakespeare's biblical romance Hannibal Hamlin; 9. Finding Pygmalion in the Bible: notes on the unity of The Winter's Tale Richard Strier; Part IV. Enactment: Hermeneutics and the Social: 10. Shylock in the lion's den: enacting exegesis in Merchant of Venice Shaina Trapedo; 11. Maimed rites and whirling words in Hamlet Jesse M. Lander; 12. Political theology on the pulpit and the Shakespearean stage Thomas Fulton; Afterword Julia Reinhard Lupton.